I’ve been doing the usual “anti-social Tash works who works more hours than there are in a week” routine for the last fortnight.
I’m VERY excited that one job ended last night and, whilst other girls may fantasise of beach holidays with attractive, topless men, all I’m salivating about is my bed.
And being in it.
For as long as I like.
Within all of this free time I have had of late, I have tried to be vaguely social.
So, when I was encouraged to have drinks late one night last week, and I had a luxuriously late start time for work the next day, I said yes.
I mean, pre “yes”, there was that internal struggle – every inch of my body was feeling a magnetic pull toward my aforementioned bed, and the internal movie screen of my mind was projecting images of my inviting pillows and doona (that’s Australian for “duvet” for all of you UK readers).
But then there was the internal monologue.
The “Just go! You can afford a cab home if need be. You’ll meet people. You need to get out and live a little. Go on an adventure!” monologue.
You know the one.
We all have them.
Well, for once, the monologue won out.
Against all odds.
It was like the unexpected winner in the latest event at the Olympics (whoever or whatever that may be – #topicalhumourthattashdoesnthavetheknowledgetobackup)
There was a group of people going along.
Enough for two cabs.
I knew the people in my cab.
None of us really knew the people in the other, but there was one person we’d all met and had lured us out.
When we found the other taxi-load at the venue, I was shocked.
Those other people were…
These were adult people.
Well, adult aged people.
They behaved like teenaged schoolgirls – and trust me, I was bullied by enough of those schoolgirls to know their truly evil capabilities.
They were laughing at my friends.
They were using the most basic of exclusive body language – turning their backs on us, refusing to open groups out to invite us in.
They ignored us in group conversations.
When one in my group made a deliberate effort to engage with them by introducing himself and trying to spark up a conversation, he was getting one-word answers and blank looks.
Let me be clear, the guy we were there for was inclusive and lovely… but the rest of them?
I was baffled.
Were these not human people?
Had these people not been in a social setting before?
My exhausted brain was slowly scanning through our evening’s interactions, trying to deduce whether one of us had wronged them in some way that was deserving of this response.
What confused my brain more, was that these people were supposedly fellow Arts-workers.
Now, whether justly so or not, my brain does this thing.
If I meet someone else who works in the Arts, I assume we’ll have some mutual talking points of interest.
I assume we’ll be similarly engaged with other human beings.
Obviously, in this particular instance I was very wrong.
But I was also wary that I had to stop myself from trying to win them over.
Especially in the way that I might ordinarily.
I consciously decided to give up on these #basicbitches and move on with my life.
Or at least, move on with my evening.
And head homeward.
Despite my unyielding desire to understand their issue.
I just wanna know what their problem was!
As we all left the venue, I got a chance to speak with the guest of honour.
He was visiting from the States and I’d met him the day before.
He is a filmmaker and, after processing the information I knew of him within the culturally-programmed analysis app inside my brain, I was 99% sure he was a tribal brother.
So I did what I always do when the Jew-o-meter goes off in my head – I drop the conversational hints.
And I came up trumps!
(Please note that this comment does not infer that he’s a Trump voter.)
He took the bait and I was right!
On the long bus ride home that night (well, morning), I did some uncharacteristic overthinking (guys – that’s a joke, because I’m always overthinking! – #comedygoldwithtash) and realised I have this habit of trying to prove myself to new people.
And, what I mean by that, is proving that I have the right to be included in those groups:
You’re in the Arts? I’m in the Arts!
You’re a Jew? I’m a Jew!
You’re Australian? I’m Australian!
In fact, the last point is the weirdest one – I’ve noticed that in the UK, my accent has actually broadened out.
As if to prove that, despite my complexion and appearance, I am Aussie, my accent now turns into some broad Aussie variation that it’s never been before – most particularly when I meet other Australians.
From someone who only ever had a fairly mild accent in her home nation, come expressions like “How ya gaaaaarn, mate?” (Translation: “How are you, friend?”)
Yes, I say “mate” now.
All the time.
And I can’t stop it.
But I digress.
I shouldn’t have to prove my credentials.
I should be able to have a conversation with people in order to learn things from each other.
That’s probably the definition of “conversation”.
a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
A conversation is all that is required to prove that I have a right to be there.
And a conversation is all that is required with a person in a social setting.
There’s no need to be rude to someone you’ve never met.
Exchange some words.
If you don’t want to be my friend, that’s fine, but I am an interesting person with valid thoughts and ideas.
I need to remember that.
And that’s all I expect to be treated as.
And that’s all anyone can expect.
Same as here-ish, I suppose.
Everyone has a right to be treated with respect.
As a human.
And maybe this experience was a karmic reaction to the times I’d forgotten to live by my own words…
But, it was a point well felt.
You already twang enough!